3/1/2020 0 Comments
So, I’m going to double hit this one. I’ll get to the playlist in a minute, but I’m going to vent about something else first. Well, two things actually, “Best Selling Authors” and “Combat Veterans.”
I follow a lot of indie authors on Instagram, and they have a varying amount of success. Some of them write amazing work, but don’t market themselves well. Some are absolutely kicking ass at putting themselves out there, but their books suck. For the most part, if I hated an author’s book though, I just don’t review it. Call it professional curtesy if you want, but I wouldn’t want someone highlighting my work as tripe, so I try not to do it to other writers. Well, at least not indie writers, we’re all in the same boat and something egregious would have to happen for me to get on Instagram or Facebook, wave a flag, and declare Shithead McIlliterate over here can’t write for shit. I will however knock the shit out of more famous authors. They have a platform and can take it. Case in point, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green is an Absolutely Unremarkable Plight on Literature. Fucking godawful. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t want to hear a forty-year-old man in a happy marriage with kids write a novel about a bi-curious, teenage, lesbian’s menstrual cycle. That and the story was predictable, and bland.
But Hank Green is every level of successful, and I watch most of his Youtube videos, even though I don’t agree with him on a lot of things. I still respect his opinions because he’s thought them out, and I think his heart’s in the right place. And even thought his book is a best seller, it wouldn’t have been if he wasn’t already famous. I don’t think him, or his brother for that matter, have any business in the literary community.
Now this leads me to the first real point in this rant. Stop putting “Best Selling Author” in your bio if you aren’t one. This isn’t out of spite, I’m trying to look out for you here. I follow a lot of authors on my writing account, most of that’s just following for the sake of following. On my main page however, I’m specific with who I follow. If I’m watching you, it’s because you’re doing something right. However, I often find myself looking at someone’s profile that was suggested to me and their headline is “Best selling author.” At this point I get curious and check them out online, and they’ll have one book out from four years ago that has three reviews on amazon. One review will be two or a three star review, the other will be a one star, and the five star review that is there was blatantly posted by the author of the book. Now I think the author’s full of shit and there’s no way I’m going to follow them, much less buy and read their work. Unless you can put what list someone ELSE has deemed you a best seller on, don’t tell me you’re a best seller.
And speaking of disingenuous, let’s talk about you fuckers calling yourselves “Combat Veterans.”
Look, I get it, you’ve gotta hustle and any edge you can get is worth the cut. But if you’re not a combat veteran, don’t fucking say you are. There’s a difference between having been in the military (Veteran), having deployed (still just veteran), having deployed to a combat zone (You might be able to put “OIF” or “OEF” before the “Veteran” part, but that’s still veteran), and having been shot at and returned fire (This last one would be “Combat Veteran”)
It is OKAY to have been in the military and not done anything. It’s okay to have been deployed and stuck on an airbase as a clerk or a cook or a mechanic. But just because you were deployed to a combat zone, that doesn’t mean you’re a combat veteran. Hell, you could have been infantry and out on patrol every day, but if you didn’t actually see combat, you’re not a combat veteran. Stop telling people you are. Combat is a lot like sex, the people you hear talking about it the most have no idea what the fuck they’re talking about. Remember that kid in middle school who said he’d had sex with like a hundred girls? That’s you if you’re doing this, and If I see it, I just assume that you’re starving for attention, and the only interesting thing that ever happened to you was spending seven month in Al Asaad or Leatherneck eating at the DFAC and pushing paperwork. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Hell, write a book about working on HMMVs or helicopters and being frustrated that you’re not going outside the wire, or about standing duty as a gate guard in Twentynine Palms checking IDs for four years. There’s gotta be something interesting that happened there, and I’ll read that. Just don’t fucking lie to us about what you’ve been through.
I read this one book that the author marketed as memoirs about being wounded in Fallujah then being harassed for being too sexually active. When I read the book, turned out she chipped a tooth or some shit in Fallujah eight YEARS after the battle, then she started fucking her boss and his wife started stalking her.
Don’t feed me bullshit to get a few bucks out of me. I’m trying to read books written by sincere authors. Let your work speak for itself. Your work might not be for everybody, and again, that’s okay. Hell, there are some people I tell not to read my books because I don’t think they can handle jokes about catastrophic anal bead malfunctions in the first chapter.
Alright, enough ranting, let’s get to the Paragon of Man’s mood playlist. Also, I really meant for that whole rant to be about a paragraph long, but this blog is called “Rants” for a reason.
Spoiler Warning for the Paragon of Man after this.
I didn’t start writing the third book for a couple of years after the first two. It was later 2016, or maybe early 2017. I was stationed in Twentynine Palms and wrote most of that book in my barracks room when I wasn’t busy trying to break the world record for most alcohol consumed in one sitting. And to be completely honest, I don’t remember writing the first draft. I don’t remember most of 2016. In face I have a friend in Houston I visited in 2018 who had a lot of my art on their wall and I recognized that the work was mine, but I didn’t remember painting them.
However, the writing playlist survives, and I can tell you about the moods they set.
Jūrā gāju naudas gūt, Teiksma
I’m not sure what the actual lyrics to this are. I know it has something to do with being lost at sea though. It’s melancholy melody fits that mood.
Boat on a River, Styx
This one is on the list because of the feeling of woe and the association with water, seeing as how the characters were sailing for half the book.
Rooster, Alice in Chains
Walking tall, machinegun man, they spit on me in my homeland. Hank ain’t gonna die.
Way to Fall, Star Sailor
Hank hadn’t heard from his wife in a couple of years. He doesn’t know where she is, and he can only hope she’s still alive. There wasn’t much light in his head.
Compass, Sarah Longfield, Zella Day cover
This one I imagined being more from Penelope’s perspective, awaiting the return of her traveler. I wasn’t a big fan of the original song, but Sarah Longfield’s cover is haunting beautiful.
Blue Jeans, Lana Del Rey
Another from the Penelope point of view. She very could have easily left for space with the other refugees that did, but she stayed on a destroyed Earth waiting for Hank, possibly for a million years.
I Just Want You, Ozzy Osbourne
More or less the same sentiments as Blue Jeans, only from Hank’s perspective. He too could have stayed anywhere else. Hank could have stayed in Scotland, Canada, or just wondered the old world, but he came home just for the possibility of a Penelope.
Dance with the Devil, Breaking Benjamin
Most of my work is just certain characters’ dancing with their demons. This one fits the narrative.
Midna’s Lament, Richaeed, Nintendo cover
This was originally from the game The Legend of Zelda, Twilight Princess, but this dude nailed it to the wall. There aren’t any lyrics in it, but this may possibly be the most beautiful rendition of any song ever written.
Demons on the Prey, Andrew Hulshult, DOOM cover
Another metal cover from a video game song that just radiates ominous dread. This could have been playing while the Marines were trying to escape the cult in Scandinavia. And speaking of Scandinavia…
Kylan Paassa, Moonsorrow
I love this band, but I don’t feel right listening to them when there’s not six feet of snow on the ground and it’s reasonable to assaulted by Norsemen.
The Lost Vikings, Dethklok
Another song about lost Vikings wondering the sea in search of something called home.
Temple of the King, Rainbow
The medieval melodies combined with Dio’s magical lyrics set this in my mind to something mystic. I think the song’s actually about the crucifixion, but the crying to God for help and looming death fit with The Paragon of Man.